In Europe
Mountains of reusable cobblestones await their new life.

Supporting the reuse of building materials to move towards a circular economy

The Interreg North-West Europe (Interreg NWE) Programme aims to push for a green transition in its geographical area. Following this thematic priority, a new project led by Rotor vzw-asbl is currently in development with the objective of promoting a circular, sustainable economy in the construction sector in North-West Europe, raising awareness and sharing good practices on how to salvage and reuse building materials.

Born in 2006 as a small project, Rotor vzw-asbl has been gradually developing an expertise in the reuse of building materials. It now provides assistance to building owners and policy-makers, conducts research and raises awareness on this topic through education, lectures and publications. In 2016, the non-profit launched a spin-off cooperative company, RotorDC, active in salvaging and reselling reusable building elements.

The new project PREUSE focuses on one of the main goals of the association via two axes: one is, assisting local and regional public authorities at organizing the salvaging of their own materials through the development of local and regional reuse centers. The other, providing and promoting good practices and technical skills to strengthen the construction sector’s capacity to uptake salvage and reuse operations with the focus to lower its impact on the environment.

Territorial cooperation being key for the Interreg NWE programme, this project counts nine partners from varied regions in North-West Europe: Bellastock (FR), City of Utrecht (NL), La Fabrique des Quartiers (FR), LIST (LU), City of Lorient (FR), City of Mechelen (BE), Métropole du Grand Paris (FR), Rotor (BE) and Municipality of Wiltz (LU). It aims to inspire other public authorities to use the same developing schemes and to establish guidelines addressing the complexity of such endeavors by involving various technical, legal, economic and even cultural aspects.

It is not the first time for Rotor to lead a project of this scale. In fact, this project builds on the success of a previous ones (FCRBE, 2018-2023 and Le Bâti Bruxellois, 2014-2020), which resulted in publishing a series of useful tools for implementing reuse in construction projects. Hence the cooperation between the Brussels-Capital Region and the association has already a long track record.

Undoubtedly, this project goes in line with the sustainability priority set by the Belgian presidency of the Council of the European Union, putting the concept of circular economy at the forefront by applying innovative measures tackling the environmental challenges that exist in different sectors.

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